Trump’s tax records show his businesses lost so much money over a decade, he didn’t have to pay income taxes for 8 of those ten years


  • President Donald Trump’s tax information covering the years 1985 to 1994 show a business empire nearly in ruin, according to financial information obtained by The New York Times.
  • Trump’s negative adjusted gross income allowed him not to pay any income tax for eight of those years, according to the records.
  • The filings show that in 1985, Trump lost $46.1 million from his casinos, hotels, and apartments. These businesses reportedly kept losing money annually for a total loss of $1.17 billion in 10 years.
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President Donald Trump’s tax information covering the years 1985 to 1994 reportedly show a business empire nearly in ruin, so much so that his negative adjusted gross income allowed him not to pay any income tax for eight of those years.

The tax information, first reported in a New York Timesreportpublished Tuesday, revealed that Trump’s businesses were not as successful as the future president made them out to be:

  • In 1985, the filings show Trump lost $46.1 million from his casinos, hotels, and apartments. These businesses reportedly kept losing money annually for a total loss of $1.17 billion in 10 years.
  • In 1986, his businesses had a reported loss of $68.7 million.
  • In 1987, Trump purchased a $29 million yacht and a $407 million hotel, despite the stock market taking a plunge. He reported his businesses lost $42.2 million in 1987, and $30.4 million in 1988.
  • Trump’s business losses between 1990 and 1991 totaled over $500 million.
  • Citing Trump’s tax filings and publicly available data from the Internal Revenue Service, The Times reported Trump “appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer” when compared with other wealthy individuals.
  • The losses meant that Trump avoided paying income tax for eight of the 10 years documented in the tax information cited by The Times.
  • Additionally, Trump’s income shifted annually. In 1988, he earned over $67 million in salary, and he received a “mysterious” $52.9 million in interest income in 1989.
    • Trump’s $67 million salary was 90% of his total regular wage during the ten-year period.
    • Trump’s interest income shifted dramatically. In 1990, he reported $18.7 million, and in 1992, he reported $3.6 million.
  • Between 1986 and 1988, Trump suggested he would buy out numerous companies. The suggestions earned him millions of dollars, but the gains were short-lived after investors stopped taking him seriously, the newspaper reported.
  • In 1989, Trump’s businesses reported a loss of nearly $182 million, according to The Times.
  • Trump borrowed $10 million for his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Trump portrayed himself as a wealthy business mogul prior to his presidential campaign and throughout his presidency.

“There is no one my age who has accomplished more,” Trump told Newsweekin 1987.

Trump attorney Charles Harder claimed the tax information The Times cited for its report is “demonstrably false” and “highly inaccurate.”

“IRS transcripts, particularly before the days of electronic filing, are notoriously inaccurate,” Harder said, without offering any evidence to support that assertion.

Read more: Democratic lawmaker asks IRS for 6 years of Trump’s tax returns

Mar-a-Lago

Foto: The Atlantic Ocean is seen adjacent to President Donald Trump’s beach front Mar-a-Lago resort.sourceJoe Raedle/Getty Images

The Times’ reporting does not answer lingering questions about Trump’s more recent tax returns, which have been a contentious topic during his presidency. Democrats questioned Trump’s financial dealings and haveasked for six years of his tax returns.

Democratic Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, the Ways and Means Committee chairman, previously demanded Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to direct the IRS to release the returns for a select group of lawmakers.

Mnuchin rebuffed the request, citing a lack of a “legitimate legislative purpose.”

Trump defied decades of precedent as a presidential candidate by refusing to release the tax documents and has continued to keep them from the public as president. Trump claimed he could not release his returns while he is under audit by the IRS.

It is unclear if Trump is being audited by the IRS. There is no law that prohibits a tax filer from releasing his tax returns during an audit.

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